Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Today at Fox: War is over (if you want it)

If you're the agenda-setting type, you can get a good idea of the "media agenda" from the homepage, captured at 12:06 p.m. Eastern today, 16th inst, in this year of our Lord the two thousand nineteenth: Bullying obstructionist Democrats; Hannity, scourge of false prophets; Democrats hate the Constitution; scary video is scary;* and celebrities deny stuff from social media. No surprises if you keep up with the Fox agenda in general, right?

Unless you look at what the big papers were leading with around 11:45 a.m.:
You'd almost think they had been looking at broadcast organizations' websites an hour before that (that's the BBC on the right):

So, to recap: As of 1 p.m.,** there was no sign on the Fox homepage of an ISIS attack in Syria that killed American troops (plural), which from the BBC's timestamp appears to have been news since sometime before 10:30 a.m. It's not among the top 5 stories, and it's not among the shark sightings, lizard sightings, Royal Family outrages, episodic deaths and other items that make up the next 14 stories. 

Should we conclude that Fox has declared victory in the Global War on Terror and gone home? Probably not. It does seem fair to hypothesize that Fox no longer thinks a terrorist attack that kills American service personnel is a reflection on the president. It's not out of line to speculate that Fox is waiting for the White House to tell it whether it's OK to talk about terrorists who aren't lurking at the Mexican border. And it appears especially clear that Fox's agenda of existential threats is too crowded by immigration and lese-majeste to include transnational substate political violence.

* In that the video is from around 5 p.m. "last week," one may fairly wonder what this sentence is doing on the following Wednesday: "It wasn’t immediately clear whether the pedestrians were hurt or what caused the crash." If you'd like to conclude that Fox would rather you be scared than informed, that seems a fair conclusion.
** Update: At 2:15 p.m., still nothing among the top several dozen stories, though if you scroll down past "world" and "family" and "entertainment" until you reach "what to watch," there's this: "Rep. Lee Zeldin says deadly attack on US troops will intensify arguments to both stay and leave Syria." We are not impressed.
    Update II: As of 3:02, a Fox story posted "20 mins ago" begins thus:
    The horrifying moment in which a deadly suicide bomb exploded on a street in Syria on Wednesday was captured in a video that ISIS-sympathetic accounts then shared on Facebook.
   Two different accounts posted what appears to be the same video showing the bombing in Majib, which reportedly killed 16 people — including a number of U.S. service members. 

    This is the ninth of the also-ran stories that follow the top 5. It follows standard Fox fare like "McPhee wears wedding dress during fitting with stepdaughter"; "Broke teen who sold kidney for iPhone now bedridden for life";
"New footage shows Dems at swanky 'cocktail reception' in Puerto Rico amid government shutdown"; "‘SMILF’ creator opens up on misconduct allegations"; and "Military couple's surprise reunion in Texas caught on camera

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home